B.B. King

B.B. King, San Francisco, 1967

“B.B. King welcomed me into his inner circle like few others. He was ever so hospitable – “Want something to eat? Want something to drink?” Backstage with B.B. and his entourage I felt as if I was a guest at his home. I took B.B. King out to the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco where there is a copy of The Thinker, the famous statue by Rodin in the courtyard. I posed B.B. against this statue so that Lucille, his red guitar, and the arms of the sculpture are kind of parallel. It’s a beautiful shot but most people don’t quite understand what I was trying to do, what I meant by the slightly ironic juxtaposition.” Read more in the book.

Johnny and June Cash

Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, Circle Star Theater, San Carlos, CA, 1967

Baron talks about the sombre mood of Mr Cash backstage before the show, but this photograph is just so sweet – look carefully. “The Cash photos are some of the first I took on assignment for Rolling Stone. We started publishing in October of 1967; these were taken in December of that year at the Circle Star, a popular theater-in-the- round south of San Francisco.”

Jeff Beck’s Hot Rod

Jeff Beck, S&C Ford, San Francisco, 1968

“…(Beck) asked me if I knew where he could buy an American hot rod so I took him to the showroom of a car dealer who had one which was for sale. Jeff was immediately fascinated with the car and decided to buy it on the spot…” Read more in the book and listen to the story via this podcast.

Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell at home, Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, 1968

Excerpt about the beautiful Joni Mitchell – buy the book to read more!

“Joni’s lyrics are neither simple nor simplistic; they’re complex and soulful and usually reach the heart of the matter. Joni is also a skilled painter; you can see her work on her website. But unlike other would-be musician-painters she refuses to market or sell them at all. I admire her for that although I would love to publish a book of her paintings; that would be one good way to share them without selling them.”

On The Set Of Odd Thomas

L: Eric Amundsen; R: Mitch Amundsen. On set, July 25th, 2011. All images © Baron Wolman

The feature film “ODD THOMAS” is currently being shot in Santa Fe. The name is not the odd part – for me there were several unexpected and odd coincidences. First, Eric Amundsen, the film crew’s Digital Imaging Technician emailed me about the possibility of buying a copy of “The Rolling Stone Years” in Santa Fe. He had seen the photo of Janis Joplin playing pool in her Larkspur, California home in the summer double issue of Rolling Stone. We exchanged emails and Eric invited me to the set to watch the filming. Second, the location was the radio studios of Hutton Broadcasting here in Santa Fe, the offices of which are decorated with my photographs! Third, it turns out that Eric and his brother Mitch, the film’s Director of Photography, “were raised in Larkspur [California], played pool on Janis’s table in West Baltimore, listened to lots of San Francisco music and stared at your pictures.” And I lived for years in Mill Valley, the town directly adjacent to Larkspur.

It was fascinating to watch the movie being made, in particular because this movie is being shot entirely digitally. The lenses look the same, the cameras don’t. I exchanged “war” stories with the crew over the catered lunch, then watched how Eric works with the huge digital files, and began to understand how they are managed and transmitted. All fascinating stuff. Everybody on the set was hugely hospitable. Now I think I want to make a movie. Is this a great world or what…!!!

Cosmic World Book Tour coming to New Jersey

Little Richard at KPIX-TV, San Francisco, 1967

On Saturday, August 6th from 10 am to 4 pm, Baron will be signing books at Gallery 270 in Westwood, New Jersey. You don’t have to get your chest autographed, Baron will still welcome you with open arms when you buy the book!

Smokey Robinson

Smokey Robinson, Bimbo’s 365 Club, San Francisco, 1968

Smokey Robinson thrilled Baron and the rest of the audience when he sang ‘Tracks Of My Tears’ at Bimbo’s in San Francisco. Rolling Stone Magazine places ‘Tracks’ as number 50 of the 500 greatest songs.

Backstage at Bimbo’s

Smokey, one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, in his dressing-room before the show.

T-Squat Interview

View from the stage, Woodstock Music & Art Fair, Bethel, NY, 1969

Beck Rocchi & James Watkins over at T-Squat ran an extensive interview in their culture blog. Here’s a short excerpt:

T: Woodstock 1969 is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most pivotal moments in popular music history. Who or what blew you away over these three days?

B: What made Woodstock so unique for me wasn’t the music, although the line-up was extraordinary.  Rather it was the gathering of so many people in one place, at one moment in time, for the sole purpose of enjoying themselves and one another.  If you look at the pictures I took you will see I concentrated on the people not the performers.  There is one photo I shot standing pretty much in the middle of that enormous Woodstock stage, using the widest-angle lens I had at the time (24mm, I think) where I tried to capture the enormity of the crowd.  Even that lens didn’t include everybody.  I mean, think about it.  Here was a disaster waiting to happen – rain, mud, humidity, not enough food, insufficient sanitary facilities – and nothing untoward happened, no violence, no anger.  That single concert fulfilled the “hippie promise” of peace, love and music…

Lighting scaffold, Woodstock Music & Art Fair, Bethel, NY, 1969